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  • Place of origin:

    Buckingham Palace (photographed)

  • Date:

    March 1945 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Beaton, Cecil (Sir), born 1904 - died 1980 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed to the Museum in 1987 by Eileen Hose, secretary to the photographer

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 914, box R

Physical description

Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) Buckingham Palace, 1945. Seated, three-quarter length. Wearing an oval neck crinoline gown with puffed sleeves, designed by the British fashion designer Sir Norman Hartnell (1901-1979). The dress is embroidered with sequins to form floral patterns. The princess also wears a double-string pearl necklace. She looks downwards, her expression is still and thoughtful; and her hands are resting in her lap. Light from behind her, highlights her shoulders and the curls in her hair, as well as illuminating fresh flowers which surround her. A backdrop depicts an enlarged and adapted section of 'The Swing' by the French painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806).

Place of Origin

Buckingham Palace (photographed)


March 1945 (photographed)


Beaton, Cecil (Sir), born 1904 - died 1980 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

Written in pencil on reverse.


Width: 19.3 cm image, Height: 24.5 cm image, Width: 19.3 cm paper, Height: 24.5 cm paper

Descriptive line

Royal Portrait by Cecil Beaton (1904-1980). Photograph depicting Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II), Buckingham Palace, March 1945.

Labels and date

Princess Elizabeth, Buckingham Palace
March 1945

The flowers that appear in many of Beaton’s portraits were often picked from his own garden. Elaborate arrangements of roses, carnations, lilies and hydrangeas filled the space between a photographic backdrop and the sitter, and were an essential prop in the creation of idealised Arcadian scenes.

Gelatin silver print

Production Note

Cecil Beaton photographed members of the royal family from 1930-1979.




Gelatin silver process


Photographs; Portraits; Royalty


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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